Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man

Then Job [a]answered,

“In truth I know that this is so;
But how can a (A)man be in the right [b]before God?
“If one wished to (B)dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.
(C)Wise in heart and (D)mighty in strength,
Who has [c](E)defied Him [d]without harm?
(F)It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how,
When He overturns them in His anger;
Who (G)shakes the earth out of its place,
And its (H)pillars tremble;
Who commands the (I)sun [e]not to shine,
And sets a seal upon the stars;
Who alone (J)stretches out the heavens
And [f](K)tramples down the waves of the sea;
Who makes the (L)Bear, Orion and the Pleiades,
And the (M)chambers of the south;
10 Who (N)does great things, [g]unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.
11 “Were He to pass by me, (O)I would not see Him;
Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.
12 “Were He to snatch away, who could (P)restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, ‘(Q)What are You doing?’

13 “God will not turn back His anger;
Beneath Him crouch the helpers of (R)Rahab.
14 “How then can (S)I [h]answer Him,
And choose my words [i]before Him?
15 “For (T)though I were right, I could not [j]answer;
I would have to (U)implore the mercy of my judge.
16 “If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
17 “For He (V)bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 “He will (W)not allow me to get my breath,
But saturates me with (X)bitterness.
19 “If it is a matter of power, (Y)behold, He is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon [k]Him?
20 (Z)Though I am righteous, my mouth will (AA)condemn me;
Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.
21 “I am (AB)guiltless;
I do not take notice of myself;
I (AC)despise my life.
22 “It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He (AD)destroys the guiltless and the wicked.’
23 “If the scourge kills suddenly,
He (AE)mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 “The earth (AF)is given into the hand of the wicked;
He (AG)covers the faces of its judges.
If it is not He, then who is it?

25 “Now (AH)my days are swifter than a runner;
They flee away, (AI)they see no good.
26 “They slip by like (AJ)reed boats,
Like an (AK)eagle that swoops on [l]its prey.
27 “Though I say, ‘I will forget (AL)my complaint,
I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful,’
28 I am (AM)afraid of all my pains,
I know that (AN)You will not acquit me.
29 “I am accounted (AO)wicked,
Why then should I toil in vain?
30 “If I should (AP)wash myself with snow
And cleanse (AQ)my hands with lye,
31 Yet You would plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would abhor me.
32 “For (AR)He is not a man as I am that (AS)I may answer Him,
That we may go to [m]court together.
33 “There is no (AT)umpire between us,
Who may lay his hand upon us both.
34 “Let Him (AU)remove His rod from me,
And let not dread of Him terrify me.
35 Then I (AV)would speak and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.


  1. Job 9:1 Lit answered and said
  2. Job 9:2 Lit with
  3. Job 9:4 Lit stiffened his neck against
  4. Job 9:4 Lit and remained safe
  5. Job 9:7 Lit and it does not shine
  6. Job 9:8 Lit treads upon the heights of
  7. Job 9:10 Lit until there is no searching out
  8. Job 9:14 Or plead my case
  9. Job 9:14 Lit with
  10. Job 9:15 Or plead my case
  11. Job 9:19 So with Gr; Heb me
  12. Job 9:26 Lit food
  13. Job 9:32 Lit judgment


Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.
    But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?(A)
Though they wished to dispute with him,(B)
    they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.(C)
His wisdom(D) is profound, his power is vast.(E)
    Who has resisted(F) him and come out unscathed?(G)
He moves mountains(H) without their knowing it
    and overturns them in his anger.(I)
He shakes the earth(J) from its place
    and makes its pillars tremble.(K)
He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;(L)
    he seals off the light of the stars.(M)
He alone stretches out the heavens(N)
    and treads on the waves of the sea.(O)
He is the Maker(P) of the Bear[a] and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.(Q)
10 He performs wonders(R) that cannot be fathomed,
    miracles that cannot be counted.(S)
11 When he passes me, I cannot see him;
    when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.(T)
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him?(U)
    Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’(V)
13 God does not restrain his anger;(W)
    even the cohorts of Rahab(X) cowered at his feet.

14 “How then can I dispute with him?
    How can I find words to argue with him?(Y)
15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;(Z)
    I could only plead(AA) with my Judge(AB) for mercy.(AC)
16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
    I do not believe he would give me a hearing.(AD)
17 He would crush me(AE) with a storm(AF)
    and multiply(AG) my wounds for no reason.(AH)
18 He would not let me catch my breath
    but would overwhelm me with misery.(AI)
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!(AJ)
    And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him[b]?(AK)
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
    if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.(AL)

21 “Although I am blameless,(AM)
    I have no concern for myself;(AN)
    I despise my own life.(AO)
22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’(AP)
23 When a scourge(AQ) brings sudden death,
    he mocks the despair of the innocent.(AR)
24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,(AS)
    he blindfolds its judges.(AT)
    If it is not he, then who is it?(AU)

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;(AV)
    they fly away without a glimpse of joy.(AW)
26 They skim past(AX) like boats of papyrus,(AY)
    like eagles swooping down on their prey.(AZ)
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,(BA)
    I will change my expression, and smile,’
28 I still dread(BB) all my sufferings,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.(BC)
29 Since I am already found guilty,
    why should I struggle in vain?(BD)
30 Even if I washed myself with soap(BE)
    and my hands(BF) with cleansing powder,(BG)
31 you would plunge me into a slime pit(BH)
    so that even my clothes would detest me.(BI)

32 “He is not a mere mortal(BJ) like me that I might answer him,(BK)
    that we might confront each other in court.(BL)
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,(BM)
    someone to bring us together,(BN)
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,(BO)
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.(BP)
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,(BQ)
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.(BR)


  1. Job 9:9 Or of Leo
  2. Job 9:19 See Septuagint; Hebrew me.

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